My first attempt at a carbon footprint calculation was less than satisfactory.

Whilst browsing the internet today I decided that I would make a first pass at looking at our carbon footprint so I checked out the government website. Whilst I admit that I didn’t have my energy bills to hand so it possibly wasn’t as accurate as it could be I found the recommendations that it gave to be somewhat disappointing.
Firstly I should apparently buy a microwave as this is more economical than heating in an electric oven – sorry but I cannot find a use for a microwave, my kitchen is not big enough to fit one in, we do a lot of our cooking on the gas hob and most people I know use a microwave to heat things that I would use a hob for or to reheat things that they should have eaten hot, i.e. they use the oven and then the microwave.
Their second recommendation was to buy an A rated dishwasher – first I would need to buy a bigger house to put it and all of the extra pots that I would need to buy in order to fill it – we don’t create that much washing up. Am I missing something or is it better not to buy all of these electricity using appliances that use up quickly vanishing resources?
Another recommendation involved travel – I should walk or cycle for small journeys – it wasn’t listening, I already do that. Then when I replace my car I should get one that is more efficient – sorry car manufacturers, but I am not planning to do that for a long time. My mileage is small enough that I am hoping to keep this car for at least the next 10 years rather than buying another one.
I noticed nothing on the website about recycling, reducing waste, buying less.
Now call me cynical if you like, but many of the recommendations seemed to me to involve me spending more money, a more efficient this, an extra that, and therefore creating more tax revenue for the economy.
I think I need to find a better starting place in my bid to live a greener lifestyle.

There is no such thing as an environmentally – friendly diesel car.

In the latest issue of the RSC’s Chemistry World (April 2008/Volume 5/Number 4/Page4) there is a small news article confirming what I have always suspected – there is no such thing as a good diesel car. The article reports on recently published findings which seem to indicate that far from being better for the environment (of which we are a part) low emission diesels may in fact be worse than their soot-chucking predecessors. The smaller sizes of the emitted particles can apparently penetrate more easily into lung tissue. This just goes to prove that the only way to help the environment and ourselves is to leave the car at home and use our feet – after all, that is why we have them.